TEN-man Albion suffered a 1-0 defeat to high-flying Exeter City in a tight contest at the Pirelli Stadium.
In a game of fine margins Ryan Trevitt fired home the only goal of the game with fifteen minutes left before Albion had substitute Steve Seddon dismissed for two yellow cards.
The Albion team showed three changes from the one that picked up an important point against Bolton Wanderers last time out. Josh Gordon continued in attack having replaced Mason Bennett just before half time against the Trotters. Kegs Chauke returned in place of Rekeem Harper against the side where he spent last season on loan and Tom Hamer came back after his broken toe in place of Bobby Kamwa. Deadline day signing Bez Lubala made his first appearance in an Albion squad on the bench.
Within ninety seconds Albion had rattled the woodwork as a trademark long throw in from Hamer was allowed to bounce inside the Exeter box before John Brayford poked his effort against the crossbar.
Albion continued to have the lion’s share of the play and it was only when former Grecians defender Jake Caprice got crowded out on 20 minutes that the visitors began to really threaten with Zak Jules driving a low effort wide of the far post before Demetri Mitchell forced a good save from Max Crocombe. The visitors went close quickly after with both Josh Gordon and Brayford having to make vital blocks to deny the Devon side who were growing in confidence.
The game appeared to be entering a quieter phase as half time approached but Reece Cole stung the palms of Crocombe with a speculative effort just before the break and Mitchell hooked a follow-up effort just over the bar, the visitors looking the more likely to score as half time beckoned.
Gordon was denied a first Albion goal on the stroke of half time, former loanee Vil Sinisalo diving away to his right to parry away the striker’s header.
HALF TIME: BURTON ALBION 0-0 EXETER CITY
Crocombe had to stretch out a long leg in the opening seconds of the second half to deny Ryan Trevitt firing home the opener with Caprice denying Jules from the follow-up.
Jasper Moon went into the referee’s book when he collided with Mitchell just before the hour and the Exeter man tested Crocombe with the resulting free-kick.
Albion swapped Caprice for Steve Seddon and Gordon for Lubala on the hour mark in search of a breakthrough goal.
Seddon almost provided it too with a curling shot that Sinisalo had to push away from danger as the ball broke loose in the box.
Josh Walker also came on for his first minutes of the season as Mark Helm was replaced midway through the half.
With a quarter of an hour to go it was the visitors who got the breakthrough as TREVITT’s drive from the edge of the box found its way inside the post.
Kwadwo Baah came on for the final ten minutes in search of an equaliser for Dino Maamria’s men. The Watford loanee worked an opportunity for himself as the game entered six added minutes but Sinisalo was right behind it.
Seddon picked up the second of two yellow cards as Exeter looked to break from an Albion corner as the Brewers finished with ten men.
ALBION: Crocombe; Brayford, Hughes, Moon; Caprice (Seddon, 60), Chauke (Baah, 79), Powell, Hamer; Helm (Walker, 69), Oshilaja; Gordon (Lubala, 60).
Substitutes: Blackman, Sweeney, Harper.
GOALS: EXETER – Trevitt (75)
Referee: Geoff Eltringham